A phone so Bold. BlackBerry unveils latest smartphone

BlackBerry makes Bold statement with 3G smartphone

Research In Motion is hoping to further its advance in the consumer handset market with the launch of its BlackBerry Bold 3G smartphone

The BlackBerry Bold, which made its North American debut in May, will go on-sale in Australia from mid August.

Since inception in the mid 90s BlackBerry has always skewed towards the business market and has been seen as a tool for professionals. However, Dennis Kavelman, chief operating officer for Research In Motion, said the company was changing this impression: "Blackberry is for everyone."

"The job is to disguise this [BlackBerryBold] business tool to look like a phone," he said.

All the leading carriers will offer the device. For example, Optus will sell it from August 20 for $10 per month over 24 months in conjunction with the BlackBerry $79 Cap plan. Vodafone has yet to announce a date or pricing but said it is working to ensure it integrates the Bold into the forthcoming Vodafone Business One package.

The Bold is the first BlackBerry smartphone to support tri-band HSDPA high-speed networks. It also ships with integrated Wi-Fi and GPS, a 624-MHz StrongARM processor, 128MB flash memory and 1GB of onboard storage memory. Additional memory can be provided via micro SD slot. It also features a half-VGA (with 480x320 resolution), colour LCD screen and 2Mp camera and is configured with a hardware QWERTY keyboard.

Kavelman says the removable 1500 mAhr battery delivers about 4-5 hours of talk time and 10-12 days standby time.

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